With Christmas approaching its become my yearly tradition to compile mp3s for my mom and dad’s holiday enjoyment but I’ve always had trouble tracking down the good/unique songs from the humdrum or downright BAD stuff. What I’m asking for here are suggestions for tunes that are beautifully done, somewhat eccentric, just plain nice, or all of the above. If you’re going to recommend one just remember to attach the artist doing it. Reasons are optional and allowed to be vague
I guess I should be embarassed to say this, but I think Amy Grant’s done some good Christmas work, especially her first Christmas album. (Which, creatively enough, is called “A Christmas Album” I believe.)
I always liked: John Lennon - So This is Christmas, Michael W. Smith - Mary Did You Know, Jars of Clay - Little Drummer Boy, and a version of Holly Jolly Christmas by the Violent Femmes which no one will ever hear because they only did it once, live during a concert in San Francisco.
Showing my age, but I still love all of Andy Williams’ Christmas music. He recorded a lot more than “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” needless to say. He just says Christmas to me, and I have been very happy to see him as a surprise guest on Letterman in recent years.
Waaaaaay back when, gasoline stations and tire manufacturers had annual Christmas albums (black vinyl analog discs) available for free if you bought a full tank of gas or whatever; I have several of these “Firestone presents your Christmas Favorites, volume 3” etc, they are actually pretty good. These, and the classic carols and songs - Andy Williams, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, etc - those seem to be the favorites for those of a certain age group at least.
You may have heard one cut from this album on the radio called Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
Besides some wonderful music the entire album weaves a story.
There are two versions of this CD out there, one with liner notes and one where the liner notes are spoken on the CD. If you buy the one with just the liner notes, make sure you read them so that you will understand the story.
One of my favorites has always been The Little Drummer Boy duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. I’ve always thought this was a wonderful arrangement, especially with Bowie’s solo in the middle. It may be a bit hard to find, tho.